Men don’t talk, they grunt

I was just going through the list of Photoblogs in Blogging Nation. After 8-9 blogs, I’ve started to wonder, is it me or does the bulk of Bruneian Photobloggers consist mostly of MEN?

Not only men, but men who are obsessed with their big, fat, long and hard.. LENSES.

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31 Comments

  1. Men must always have the fanciest “professional” cameras to do their “photograpy” but we girls are just as elated with a mere 7.2 megapixeled pink camera 🙂

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  2. uh uh.. what happened to your layout? I prefer the one before thiiiiisss…

    anyway.. put it this way… men work wonders behind the lens… girls work fantastically in front of the lens…

    there… stereotyping but yet equality.. hehe. 😛

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  3. Hello Maurina,

    Two days ago, on the eve of picking up my invite to the Canon Product Launch, upon returning home, I found an IM blinking and it said something like, “check out Maurina’s post. I dare you to comment” not exactly as written but to that effect.

    So I read your post, couldn’t decide if you genuinely wanted to know why there are more male photogs out there. Your post has innuendos all over it and is further fuelled by suggestive responses from Nonnie, Princess Nashwa.

    I’ll put the playful side of me aside and post a comment to give you insight from someone who shoots for a living. As far as professional bodies and telephoto lenses go, they are a proven necessity more than anything you may think, otherwise. The combined weight of the body and lens, one slung on each shoulder causes a lot of pain at the end of an eventful day/night. It’s understandable that very few women save for the ones passionate about the photography business would subject themselves to this kind of torture.

    If I had a choice, I would work with just one body and one lens but you should also know that telephoto lenses are great for portraits too! Most of the headshots you see in my posts/galleries were shot with the EF70-200mm f2.8.

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  4. Hello Jan Shim,

    The word “latest post” is somewhat an overstatement. Haha. I really need to update my blog. Anyway, I think this is the first time you have ever commented yes? Hehe, welcome welcome!

    First of all, when did commenting on Maurinas’s posts become somewhat of a dare? 😛 Thank you for yours though it does leave me wondering what would happen if the playful side of you had not been put aside. Hihi.

    “It’s understandable that very few women save for the ones passionate about the photography business would subject themselves to this kind of torture.”

    Yes I guess so. But I’m still just wondering why there are many more “passionate men” than “passionate women” in the photography business? (Which then fuelled the “maybe its the lenses” thoughts and my allusion to its physical description resembling a male organ and men’s general obsession to it)

    Things to ponder, things to ponder.

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  5. But I’m still just wondering why there are many more “passionate men” than “passionate women” in the photography business? (Which then fuelled the “maybe its the lenses” thoughts and my allusion to its physical description resembling a male organ and men’s general obsession to it) Things to ponder, things to ponder.

    I really don’t think guys are obsessed with their camera equipment. The same cannot be said for their cars but camera lenses, I honestly don’t think so. It may however be mistaken for protecting their expensive purchase rather than obsessing over them. On a personal note, when I am back from a shoot, the first thing I do is drop everything and at times possible drop dead.

    When I regain consciousness, I put them away in a Dry Cabinet. Read and you’ll understand why.

    http://shimworld.wordpress.com/2007/06/26/wonderfully-dry/

    Coming back to topic, we may very well be misunderstood all this time for being obsessive when it’s just sometime more humble like looking after our investment.

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  6. “May explain the obsession, but doesn’t explain the sheer lack of women photographers!”

    This may. Women are by nature more perceptive than men in many respects. Not only are serious lenses costing an arm and a leg (where they could be an LV yielding better returns in SHIOK-ness), they are also heavy, as I said, any girl who subjects herself to this kind of punishment is probably very passionate and committed to this trade, professionally speaking.

    However, another reason that isn’t obvious to many but yet associating with women being more perceptive is the fact THEY know the photography business is a big can of worms. When I entered the business in 2004, the market rate for professional photography were shocking! The damage done by irresponsible and short-sighted photographers (not referring to the visually impaired) and mini-lab operators who provide photography services started competing aggressively and managed to make only one market segment happy, the walk-in customers who mainly print 3R and 4R prins.

    What’s wrong with this, you ask? When photography becomes a commodity and the art disappears (thanks to affordability of cameras and storage cards) and inherently the perceived value of our lensmanship also diminishes to the point the trade stops making business sense. It must be said that this phenomenon is affecting everyone everywhere. In a joint effort with other pro photogs, we have managed to raise the bar in pro photography service rates to a respectable level (not fantastic but respectable). The people responsible for driving prices/value spiralling downwards have done so as a matter of business survival jusification but they have also done so without appreciating the long term damage which may or may not be recoverable.

    One of the reasons I make trips abroad to meet with other professional photographers is to benchmark where we stand against our neighbours …

    http://shimworld.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/starbucks-rendezvous/

    … and the difference in our rates is astounding. One pro commands up to SGD8k for an actual day Chinese wedding while another seasoned pro fetches five digits for the same. Niche food photographers get $7k from one shoot. Today, more than ever, clients are looking for best value for their dollar spent and I salute these elite group of photogs who hold their worth. Don’t even dare say we have no photogs that are as skilled as the ones abroad. One of my associates, David Cheok, no stranger to the wedding scene, consistently produce works of art in my books. He should and ought to be billing significantly more than his present published rates.

    So you see, until Bruneian clients appreciate our work significantly more than the present breed, smart women see no point in getting themselves in this trade until there’s sufficient economic incentives to do so. Meanwhile, they know it’s better to be in front rather than behind the lens!

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  7. Here! Here! Well said Jan and I agree with you wholeheartedly! I have faith that Bruneian clients are gettin there in terms of seeing the value of a photographer’s work. But of course, there’s a long way to go…

    One of my pet peeves has got to be the mostly older generation (although there are some equally ignorant among the younger lot) who go around calling photographers (by this I mean serious photogs and not any old tom, dick, or hairy (hehe) who has a dSLR slung around their necks) CAMERAMAN. That people, is an insult on a stick if ever there was one 🙂

    But then who cares? Whatever the terminology, its the person behind the lens who makes all the difference at the end of the perennial day heheh.

    By the way Jan, I have seen some women who look equally fantastic working behind the lens as well as in front of it 😀

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  8. Thanks, Jan, for the compliment. Its heartwarming esp from a fellow pro as yourself. As for the charges, I wish I could charge more but I think that would only happen if Bruneian’s started to make more money and spend it locally 🙂

    Maurina,

    As for long hard things.. dunno.. I dread each time I have to carry that big long hard black/white thing/s out to a wedding. My back aches, my shoulders ache and by the time I get home, my eyes start aching from having to process another few hours of photos before I can even take a shower and go to sleep. I guess that’s why there are less women doing it. Its not that they can’t shoot but I guess (and I stress the guess bit) that they’d rather be in front of the lens waiting for results rather than behind it delivering results. I’ve been trying to get some of the ladies into it but most seem happy to do it when they feel like it rather than venture into it with more determination to make a living out of it.

    I’m all for helping the ladies who are genuinely interested but most dont seem to get past go. Sigh. So how?

    Reeda,

    I dont care what ppl call me.. cameraman kah, tukang gambar kah, shutterbug kah… as long as they pay me well for my work 😉 coz I generally let myself be known as the Kuli (worker). Its true isnt it? All my bride and grooms are my bosses 🙂 At least cameraman isnt so bad, I remember at one wedding, I was called by ‘Cina’. “Eh, Cina, ambil kami punya gambar” Hehehe

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  9. Actually, M, if you think about it…
    Women actually take more photos than men.. with their camera phones.. with their point and shoots.. they even take photos of themselves (a situation which most men would not be caught dead doing so more than once in a while without good reason). However, the differences between taking photos with a camera phone and a SLRish camera are:

    1) Image quality aka ‘bragging rights’ for ‘men’ (e.g like cars) to sit around talking about something other than football (probably same vice-versa reason for women and their Diamonds/shoes/bags/clothes/accessories etc).

    2) Gadgetry – men seem to have this thing about gadgets and more gadgets. Women have this thing about shoes.

    3) Weight/Bulk – men dont ‘seem’ to be bothered about being seen lugging around a big ass camera and lots of lenses (guilty as charged but my excuse is I unfortunately need it all for work). These things dont seem to fit too well into my handbag 😉 I know a woman who has a Leica digilux in her handbag all the time.

    And I believe the most important bit in all this is that blogging seems to gather attention.. lets face it.. everyone in this world who blogs wants someone to read their blog and comment.. You’re pretty guilty of it as the next person. Men, I believe, can’t talk much.. they ‘grunt’. Hahahaha so they have no choice but to use photography to express themselves.. except, of course, for the articulate few…

    Personally, I post and write something when there is something on my mind or just to add some content to the site to keep things alive. I’ve probably written more here today than I have in the last few weeks on my own blog 🙂 Shhhhh..

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  10. I’ve never thought suchh sweeping statements could’ve ganrnered so much interest! Hahaha!

    Anyway, that’s a great point you brought up David. I quite agree. In my giant handbag is a make up bag, wallet, coin purse, water spray, hand lotion, mobile phones, 2 sunglasses, regular prescription glasses, extra earrings, small umbrella, and an organizer. Sometimes i bring an extra shirt, and my laptop! So there is only room for a small camera left. LOL.

    But women do like gadgets! ;P Especially for hair removal hahahah.

    I remember at one wedding, I was called by ‘Cina’. “Eh, Cina, ambil kami punya gambar” —-> EH ANI, BAIK PULANG KAU SUE!

    I appreciate the comments everyone! 🙂 Isn’t it ironic none of the existing woman photogs are replying!

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  11. “I remember at one wedding, I was called by ‘Cina’. “Eh, Cina, ambil kami punya gambar” —-> EH ANI, BAIK PULANG KAU SUE!”

    Inda la.. ani auntie auntie.. respect elders.. walaupun sometimes a bit over but still respect sikit.. kami kuli.. mesti hormat macam kuli else inda dapat cari makan 😉

    Yeah.. where r all the women bloggers?

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  12. […] So, what challenges did I face switching from IT to photography? Someone who’s just breaking into the photography market would face insurmountable number of challenges obvious to an unfamiliar environment. Having over a decade of real-world business experience helped overcome the otherwise steep learning curve. Running Jan Shim Photography like a small business has been the biggest differentiation factor to making it in a short time frame. Know the market, know the competition and set realistic goals and work towards them—the subject of photography covers a very wide spectrum—my strength coming from corporate background is, well, corporate events, commercial photography and so forth. There isn’t a single success formula to do well in this business—what may work for me may be a disaster for another. It’s also my observation that the market here has suffered quite an erosion as discussed on Maurina’s blog. […]

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